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DUII driver gets 4 1/2 years in wreck that hurt two

A Medford man will serve 4-1/2 years in prison for being drunk behind the wheel of a car that struck and severely injured two men who were crossing a west Medford street in 2013.

Benjamin Grant Thurman, 33, accepted a 54-month state prison sentence in a plea deal reached Monday with prosecutors in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Thurman entered guilty pleas Monday morning to two counts of third-degree assault and one count of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Tim Barnack handed down the sentence after one of the victims in the case told the court how he still lives with ongoing pain.

Rogelio Avalos, 34, told Barnack that he suffers from financial hardship and a continued inability to work since he broke both legs and suffered other injuries in the September 2013 crash at Columbus Avenue near Prune Street.

Thurman also faced Avalos and apologized in court.

Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Lacie Nelson said her office will compute what she referred to as a significant amount of restitution that will be added to the sentencing.

Avalos and Juan Lopez-Florez, 30, were crossing Columbus Avenue in a crosswalk shortly after 8 p.m. when they were struck by a car driven north on Columbus by Thurman, who lived in the 700 block of West Second Street, according to police reports.

Thurman remained at the scene of the crash and was taken to the Medford Police Department, where he underwent field-sobriety tests and was arrested, police said.

Lopez-Florez lives in Mexico and was not present at Monday's hearing, Nelson said.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.